Prospect Ramblings – The Expansion Draft effect on Prospect Outlooks (Nov 27 2016)

Hayden Soboleski


Looking at how the expansion draft will effect young players in this Sunday Ramblings….



We finally got the name: The Vegas Golden Knights. There may have been better options, but I'm a fan of both the name and logos of the next NHL team. The expansion draft will take place in June 2017 – how is this going to affect the prospects and young stars this website is dedicated to?


First of all – per the NHL's phrasing – "All first- and second-year professionals, as well as unsigned draft choices, will be exempt from selection". So no, you don't have to worry about your team losing anyone currently working their way up the prospect depth chart, or anyone who is just now making an impact. 


HOWEVER – AHL games are professional games. So players who have required a bit of AHL seasoning are very much bait to be picked up by Las Vegas. Naturally its more likely your team will lose a current roster player than a prospect (I'll talk about htis issue later), especially given the pressure Vegas will have to be competitive right out of the gate. Regardless, here are notable prospects that aren't draft-exempt, and that NHL organizations will have to actively protect if they're worried about losing them:


Boston Bruins: Malcom Subban

Calgary Flames: Emile Poirier

Chicago Blackhawks: Ville Pokka

Colorado Avalanche: Rocco Grimaldi

Columbus Blue Jackets: Josh Anderson

Dallas Stars: Radek Faksa, Esa Lindell, Stephen Johns

Detroit Red Wings: Anthony Mantha, Tomas Jurco, Ryan Sproul

Edmonton Oilers: Griffin Reinhart

Florida Panthers: Seth Griffith

Minnesota Wild: Teemu Pulkinen

Montreal Candiens: Jacob De La Rose, Daniel Carr, Charles Hudon, Sven Andrighetto

Nashville Predators: Pontus Aberg

Ottawa Senators: Curtis Lazar, Ryan Dzingel, Chris Driedger

Pittsburgh Penguins: Derrick Pouliot

San Jose Sharks: Dylan DeMelo

St Louis Blues: Ty Rattie, Landon Ferraro

Tampa Bay Lightning: Slater Koekkoek

Toronto Maple Leafs: Connor Brown, Brendan Leipsic, Kerby Rychel, Josh Leivo, Frank Corrado, Viktor Loov

Washington Capitols: Stan Galiev

Winnipeg Jets: Joel Armia, Marko Dano


Like I said, most of these players have nothing to worry about. But the top players (Mantha, Rattie, Pouliot, Brown, Faksa, Lindell, Johns, Pokka, Anderson) all have varying chances of being drafted if their teams decide not to protect them.



Now for the less direct but more inevitable issue – your team is going to lose a player. What will be the domino result in terms of the propsect depth chart?

I am not a genie, so I can't predict with certainty who is going to be drafted out of each organization. In addition to this, team are going to be more scrambled than the breakfast I'm currently eating by the time the trade deadline and expansion draft come along. So what I'll do is identify teams at high risk of losing a certain position, and who will benefit:


Anaheim: Losing: Defence

                 Who does this help? Shea Theodore, Brandon Montour, Jacob Larsson.

                  At least one of this group was expected to be a regular this season, but none are receiving big minutes. With a top d-man out of the picture, one of these three will start getting serious playing time. 


Buffalo: Losing: Winger

              Who does this help? Alex Nylander, Justin Bailey.

              If his brother is any indication, Nylander will be capable of having an NHL impact after oly a brief NHL learning curve. 


Chicago: Losing: Defence

               Who does this help? Ville Pokka, Gustav Forsling.

               Not that playing third-paring minutes in Chicago amounts to much anyways.


Minnesota: Losing: Defence

                   Who does this help? Mike Reilly.

                  Hasn't justified grabbing a spot yet, but will have every opportunity if a spot opens.


Nashville: Losing: Forward

                   Who does this help? Kevin Fiala, Vlad Kamanev.

                   These two high-power prospects will get a shot at filling the void next season and will be leaned-upon producers when they do make the jump.


Pittsburgh Penguins: Losing: Goalie

                                    Who does this help? Nobody…yet.

                                    Tristan Jarry may prove to be a backup next year, but my money is on an outside candidate to fill that very desireable position.


Washington: Losing: Defence

                      Who does this help? Madison Bowey.

                      He will be a must-draft on leagues next year, and is already a must-own in keeper-leagues. 


If you want to spend some time seeing fo yoursef who on your team could be protected or exposed – CapFriendly has this excellent tool for doing so.



As always, thank you for reading and best of luck in your fantasy leagues of all sorts!

Hayden Soboleski








Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Wyatt Kalynuk 5.5 3.0
Josh Jacobs 2.0 2.0
Keean Washkurak 2.5 2.0
Mathias Laferriere 6.5 6.0
Nikita Alexandrov 6.0 5.5
Hunter Skinner 4.0 4.0
Noah Beck 4.0 4.5
Jake Furlong 4.5 6.0
Henry Thrun 7.0 8.0
Luca Cagnoni 8.5 7.5